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Elizabeth I's last favourite, 'a nature not to be ruled', Essex was the hot-headed and ambitious stepson of the Earl of Leicester. In his early years at court the queen was captivated by him and he was with her constantly, so that 'he cometh not to his own lodgings till birds sing in the morning'. Essex organised royal entertainments in his capacity as Master of the Horse. He wrote poetry, was a patron of writers and the dedicatee of numerous books.
oil on canvas
H 218 x W 127.2 cm
Purchased, 1974. On long-term loan to Montacute House, Somerset